hurricane 1When I heard the representative from Allianz Insurance speak at the Family Travel Conference in early February, I had to laugh – at myself. You see, when I am planning a travel adventure for my family, I try to perfect every detail. Where we’re staying, what we’re eating, what time we’ll be up each morning to get to an attraction early…all of it is carefully planned. I don’t get enough vacation time as it is, in my opinion. I do my best to optimize what I have. My husband says I plan to death, but that’s half the fun. It gives me a sense of control.

But, let’s face it, we’re never really in control. Travel plans can go awry for a number of reasons. Flights get held up, kids get sick, and hurricanes happen. I learned this for myself firsthand last August.  We were planning for our annual end-of-summer vacation. I was fervently scribbling in notebooks, consulting my spreadsheet and making reservations. As always, I was making plans.

One snag – my husband was out of town – out of the country, actually – on business. But I was assured that he would be home by noon the Saturday of our departure (by car). I felt confident that everything would go as planned. (There’s that P word again!)

Well, if you live anywhere in the vicinity of the U.S. East Coast, you know how this ends. Hurricane Irene hit, leaving me shop vaccing my family room instead of headed to my favorite quaint little seaside resort. Which, of course, had been evacuated.  Worse yet, my husband was stuck – in Belgium!  No flights were leaving because they had no place to land on the east coast.

AllianzLogoSo the events of August 2011 opened my eyes. No matter how many lists I wrote or errands I checked off my to-do list, my vacation is always really out of my hands. I can’t think of a better argument for trip insurance. With a basic policy, you can protect your vacation investment against the whims of nature, the demands of a boss or the illness of a child. Allianz even offers a Bag Delay clause that will provide you with a clothing allowance if your bags are lost in transit.

Next time I travel, I’m going to put “travel insurance” on top of my plans. Peace of mind is one aspect of my vacation I’d like to have some control over.